NOMINATION FORM - Get as DOC by HC121001131916



Title of Nomination:    Human Services Modernization: Shared Front-End Project

Project/System Manager:          Deborah A. Snyder
                                 Siddhartha Chowdhary

Job Title:              Project Director, Human Services Modernization Shared Front-End Project
                        Project Manager, Human Services Modernization Shared Front-End Project

Agency:                 New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
                        MTW Corporation

Address:                40 No Pearl St. - 10C

City:                   Albany

State:                  New York

Zip:                    12243

Phone:                  518-473-2581

FAX:                    518-473-2584


Category for Judging:   Information Architecture

Person Nominating:      John Van Blaricum

Phone:                  913.236.8400

FAX:                    913.236.8828

Executive Summary
Creating The Human Services Enterprise

Human Services delivery in New York State has not historically been approached as a single enterprise.
Welfare and related reform efforts have required the state to develop a more coordinated effort to manage
resources, increase productivity, lower costs, and improve customer service. Strategic analysis of the
situation identified that many state agencies operating human services programs within their own
"stovepipe" systems, each with their own budget, policies, program goals, procedures and information
systems. Existing practices led to duplicate efforts and redundant information.

In 1998, New York State commissioned a strategic plan to guide development of new business processes
and information systems to support a common intake process, or as it is more commonly referred to, a
Shared Front-End (SFE). The central concept behind the Shared Front-End is to provide customers with a
consistent intake experience and program information regardless of the initial “door” used to access the
human services enterprise. The fundamental changes that welfare reform brought to human services
delivery created a clear focus on customer-centric, integrated service delivery and case management, and
personal responsibility outcomes. Driving goals are improved customer outcomes – increased self-
sufficiency and independence from government assistance and improved quality of life.

To achieve the state’s goals of improved productivity and efficiency, local workers needed system tools to
consistently enable collection of customer information only once and share this information with workers
from different programs. Timely access to accurate information was also needed to enable workers to
make informed decisions and to effectively coordinate resources (programs and services) to assist clients
in overcoming their individual obstacles.

Given the disparate nature of the many agencies involved and the cost and time it would take to replace
the existing stovepipe systems, state officials chose a component-based development approach that
allowed them to leverage existing systems and data to create the new integrated environment. This
approach provided an attractive alternative to massive development and replacement of existing systems
as well as a strategic path for implementing new technology and programs. On July 29, 1999, a four-
agency Governance Board representing the Office of Temporary Disability Assurance, office of Children
and Family Services, Department of Labor, and Department of Health accepted the Strategic Plan. The
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) subsequently lead the way by initiating the
Human Services Modernization Shared Front End Project to create an overall technology architecture for
the state’s Human Services Enterprise and a common intake for Human Services information through four
initial “Fast Track” prototype pilot programs.

The capabilities of the SFE pilots provide a state of the art on-line front-end to human service legacy
systems to support the new integrated human services environment. The initiative also provides the state
critical improvements associated with an integrated enterprise architecture to support the broader
modernization efforts planned that will enable the state to deliver widely distributed information
technology capabilities, more efficient human service operations, and higher levels of customer service
for clients of all types.
Project Description

An enterprise view of New York State’s human services programs reveals an extraordinary level of
redundancy in front-end business processing across program areas. This unnecessary replication of
common data and tasks was identified as an ideal environment for business and systems process
improvement. The New York State strategic plan had as one of its essential objectives identifying and
exploiting opportunities to reduce costs in the administration of human services programs by eliminating
unnecessary redundancy and streamlining business processes in data collection and system support.
Integrating data was targeted as an opportunity to reduce operating cost as well as to provide
improvements in fraud detection and customer service.

The SFE Project was the first initiative undertaken within the Human Services Modernization (HSM)
effort. SFE will ultimately provide a computer system that supports the following business functions as
defined in the Strategic Plan: Screening, Assessment, Referral, Application processing, Eligibility
Determination, and Verification. Upon completion of the project, New York State can reuse and expand
system components as additional programs and/or functionality are considered and addressed.

From the onset of the Project, OTDA executive management has expressed a keen interest in pursuing
short-term tactical features that could be developed quickly and bring early value, ahead of the longer-
term Shared Front End application. Four such early deliverable prototypes were designed and developed:
the Automatic Application System, Services Provider Referral System (SPRS), CentraPort, and the
Electronic Access Reference Library (EARL). These web-based prototypes utilize the common
architecture depicted at the end of this section. They have been demonstrated to various state and local
user groups, were well received and are scheduled for a June 2001 implementation. Following the pilot
phase, future integration of these systems and the overall SFE initiative will be evaluated. Following are
descriptions of the initial four systems included in the Fast Track Prototype Program.

       The Automatic Application System includes the functions of screening (initial contact) and
        application processing prior to the budgeting functionality. The Auto Application process
        encompasses the collection of information to support a common application, the ability to collect
        this data at multiple points in time, the capability to create and maintain an application in the
        upstate welfare management (legacy) system, and the ability to create reports, and perform
        selected transactions.

       The Services Provider Referral System (SPRS) is a web-based application designed to provide
        workers with service provider search, retrieval and referral capabilities. Available information on
        providers will include name, phone number, facility address, directions to location, services
        available, etc. Workers will be able to search by multiple criteria (zip code, provider type,
        proximity, etc), provide information, checklists, referrals and maps for use by clients seeking

       The Electronic Access Reference Library (EARL) is a web-based application designed to provide
        workers with access to the information they need to support their work… EARL is an information
        aggregator that provides workers with on-line access, search and retrieval of an integrated
        collection of program/policy/systems resources, manuals, intranet and Internet links and other
        materials needed by either the workers or program areas to communicate with and support local
        district efforts.

       CentraPort is a web-based portal that provides users with single sign-on access to a variety of key
        business functionalities from both existing and new technology. A consolidated screen provides
        user options such as authorized access to legacy systems, to-do list, e-mail features, new web-
        based applications (such as SPRS, EARL, etc.) and NY State intranet and Internet links.
        CentraPort is locally administered and customizable to meet user needs. As older (legacy) system
        features are ‘modernized’, user will be able to access these new applications through a consistent,
        single location.


To perform the analysis of user requirements and business rules, the analysis to support the SFE short-
term and long-term objectives, as well as the integration of common data and legacy systems, the SFE
project is utilizing PROgression™. PROgression™ is a component-based development (CBD) approach
developed by MTW Corporation. This approach establishes a component architecture to integrate legacy
information systems and provide new functionality. CBD is a systems delivery solution based on the idea
of assembling pre-tested components into applications to implement business solutions. PROgression
was is chosen as the methodology based on its proven track record in maximizing the reuse of existing
legacy software using component based methods, tools and techniques.

Technical Architecture

The following diagram describes the proposed SFE technical architecture. The proposed architecture is n-
tier, utilizing COM/COM+ objects, WEB browser presentation layer, separate application business layer,
and a separate database layer. This architecture will also facilitate leveraging of existing legacy (back-
end) system functionality.
Relative significance to the improvement of Government program and system operation

As New York State looks toward modernizing its current Welfare Management Systems (WMS) and
implements the Shared Front End application to the field over the Internet, it is encountering many of the
same challenges that other large states and Corporate America are currently coping with. The two existing
WMS (NY City and NY State) must be consolidated into a single statewide system. The two WMS have
vastly different processing requirements and were built using different technologies, yet both share very
similar core data requirements. To support the mandate for a single statewide system, all functionality that
exists in these two WMS must be accounted for in the new system prior to its deployment. The forces
behind this mandate are federal policy/legal changes; budgetary initiatives to control the cost of
development, maintenance and delivery; and provide improved overall service.

Challenges associated with building an enterprise architecture for New York State human services
operations are real and the solution is complex. They must be dealt with in a comprehensive manner and
decisions made quickly and decisively. A component-based development approach will enable New York
State address integration of existing systems, elimination of redundancy, delivery of new functionality, as
well as provide a long-term strategy for enterprise application integration. The benefits of this strategy

1) Responsive systems to end users that allow cost-effective continuous incremental modification to
   quickly meet business requirements.
2) Systems (new, packaged and legacy) that easily communicate with one another enabling effective
   Client Management
3) The ability to transition to strategic platforms without affecting applications built relying on services
   that resided on older technologies.
4) The ability to have multiple systems’ core functionality accessed from multiple applications utilizing
   different technologies (e.g. web, VRU, wireless etc.) while preserving a single point of maintenance
   and data storage. This yields lower maintenance costs and much quicker development times by
   enabling reuse.
5) The ability to lure the best and brightest programmers to help solve their business problems while
   leveraging the extensive knowledge of the existing staff therefore decreasing reliance on a core set of
   programmers over time.
6) The ability to easily move programmers from one project to another and have them immediately
7) The ability to leverage vendor relationships, thus driving the overall Systems/hardware Cost of
   Ownership down.
8) Comprehensive, cost effective training programs focused on the standard way the Agency delivers
   application based solutions to its customers.

Taking a long view of the operational efficiency potential in New York State, the goal of this
modernization effort is not to simply focus on WMS but rather on all systems the Agency supports or will
build in the future to create a true enterprise view of operations. Decisions made concerning WMS will
not only enable WMS to realize the above-mentioned benefits, but will extend the same benefits to all
agency application development areas.

Benefits realized by service recipients, taxpayers, local and state agencies

The SFE application will primarily be used by local district workers to efficiently gather information from
a client during the intake process (screening, assessment and referral activities). If a client applies for
programs that require application and eligibility requirements, the intake information can be used and
added to by the worker to process the application and perform eligibility and verification functions. SFE
will enable the worker to assess current needs against available services, provide the client with
information as to service options and requirements, and expedite referrals to the appropriate service

The Share Front End application is expected to provide the following benefits and performance

For workers:
     Increase worker efficiency and reduce time to complete intake interview and eligibility
       prescreening activities;
     Eliminate redundant data gathering and reduced data entry error rates;
     Support better decision making by providing timely access to critical, accurate information that
       enable them to make informed decisions about client needs;
     Support efficient and effective service referral by enabling workers to identify and coordinate the
       best plan of public and community-based resources (programs and services) to assist customers in
       overcoming individual obstacles;
     Improved tracking of activities and cycle times during intake and pre-eligibility; and,
     Provide support in performing daily activities through automation and new system functionality.

For clients:
     Decreased intake interview time by eliminating redundant data gathering and entry;
     Needs-focused interview will produce more customized results and better service referrals;
     Increased knowledge and the ability to make better decisions about available services options to
        meet their needs;
     Improved quality of services delivery and access to services information, enabling clients to
        spend their time more productively in preparing for and finding work and other self-sufficiency
        supporting activities.

For Local and State Agencies:
     Improved integrity of data available to support program and strategic planning decisions;
     Additional data available that is not currently retained in legacy systems for welfare reform
       tracking and Federal reporting;
     Increased standardization and sharing of critical data collected during the front-end intake
       activities to subsequent processing steps (application, eligibility, verification, etc.) through open
       system interfaces and legacy integration;
     The use of component based development standards will enable the State to move toward an
       integrated, responsive system structure that will support rapid change, increase development
       reuse potential and provide increased flexibility.

In summary, the Shared Front End application will, upon its completion, provide users with upfront tools
that support better decision making, an efficient and effective gateway into current legacy systems,
increased data sharing, additional data not currently available and new functionality to assist them in
performing their jobs more effectively.

Return on investment, short-term/long-term payback, including summary calculations

While metrics and a ROI analysis will not be completed until the pilot phase is underway, significant
savings and productivity benefits are expected from the establishment of an enterprise architecture and by
merging two existing welfare management systems into a single statewide system (ease of
support/maintenance, etc.).

For clients, caseworkers, and state agencies, this effort is in full support of New York’s stated vision:

       “More intuitive and effective information systems capabilities will empower the New York
      State human services enterprise as it enables its clients and their families to achieve self-
      sufficiency, independence, and improve the quality of their lives to the maximum extent

This complex effort will pay dividends in improved efficiencies in performance and ease of use, resulting
in consolidated information system architecture and establishing New York State as a leader in innovative
government enterprise systems thinking.

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